I heard someone talk recently about the script that is written for our lives (it goes a little like this: get a good education, find a well-paying job, get married, buy a home, fill it with stuff, own a nice vehicle, have kids, buy a bigger house...) and it made me take stock of the idea that we really are programmed to live our lives to a script of sorts. Every day we are bombarded with advertising, products and social pressures that push this script upon us, touting that 'bigger is better' and that we need to be keeping up the Jones's. Consume this, buy that. Our families without consciously realising it teach us to chase this same materialistic script. Our friends are busy ticking off their life accomplishments so we'd better keep up.
Now I'm not saying that this script is wrong, or right. But I do wonder how many people spend their whole life running in the same direction as everyone else, just because. We've certainly spent the larger part of our 20's doing just that. And then we sat back and re-assessed. If the script fits then that's all good, if half of it or none of fits then I think that's all good too. There should definitely be the freedom to choose your own path. I do think a lot of people stick to the more well-tread path simply because. Maybe due to expectations. Maybe it feels safer.
We're re-writing the script to suit ourselves. We no longer want the big house with the big mortgage. We don't find happiness from the material things surrounding us anymore, in fact we had so much stuff it was stressing me out! We decided a more simple life would leave us with more time and resources to experience this beautiful life we have.
If life hadn't thrown us a curve ball and we'd started a family when we wanted to I doubt this blog would ever exist. But the fact that we are looking at life without children prompted us to re-consider the path we're on. We're fortunate to have an incredible relationship & the only question was really what do we want to do with our lives then? Matt's first answer was; more travel. Followed quickly with; more time for toys (not the kid variety, think more expensive grown-up toys that all seem to have engines!). When I asked myself the question of 'what do I want to do with my life' it took a while longer to come up with the answer. But eventually it came to me; I want to slow down and enjoy the simple things - like family, friends, nature, experiences.
While there's a great many opportunities that down-sizing is giving us, our number one priority is to work towards financial freedom. We realised we were staring at another 20 years of mortgage on a house we weren't using to it's full potential. And even if we knuckled down and paid off our mortgage faster we'd still be left with a beautiful, but excessive home. We were utilising less than half the footprint of our house. When we became enchanted with the tiny house movement we started talking about the idea of reducing our footprint and in turn reducing our debt so that we could do more living now. We don't want to spend the best part of our lives busy paying for & maintaining more house than we need when we could be travelling, spending more time with family and friends, enjoying this beautiful world we live in.
The biggest roadblock in re-writing the script I think is that you have to be okay with the fact that you will be judged, criticised and told you're crazy. It's human nature to be judgmental and I guess by taking a road less traveled there will be some more conventional people who are going to have something to say about it. We've already been told we're stupid to give up our big home... (well actually the bank owned most of it). We've been told we're turning into hippies. I get reminded on an almost weekly basis by strangers, clients or friends of friends that there's an expectation that someone of my age should have children by now. But none of this judgment matters to me and it certainly won't sway us from the ideas we have for our life. We're not doing it to stand out or to make a point, we're simply choosing to live our lives the way that best suits us. We are happy and we're excited about re-writing the script.
The point of sharing this? Or any of our journey for that matter? In hopes perhaps that it's inspiring or intriguing & provides a different perspective on living. In a world that is all about being busy and having more - we're opting for a more simple life. I'm not saying everyone else needs to start making drastic life changes like us but ask yourself this; what do you want to do with this beautiful life you have? And don't be afraid to dream outside the 'script'.